By Alex Mangie: If there is a single state I would not trust the polling in this year of 2020, it would be Minnesota. Minnesota has been fool’s gold for Republicans since the state voted for Nixon in 1972, but given the chaos that has fallen on the beleaguered city of Minneapolis, it could give one pause to wonder if the neighboring Republican counties (as well as those living in Hennepin, Ramsay, Washington, and Dakota counties) have taken notice of the chaos Democratic leadership has wrought and could turn out bigger numbers than in the past for Republicans. With homicides doubled from this time last year and violent crime rising as officers are overworked and understaffed, this is something that cannot be hidden from people living in the state and in the city particularly, and it could be an issue that moves the needle just enough to make a Republican victory possible.
Had the government in Minneapolis done a halfway decent job quelling the violence that has been ongoing for months, the state would undoubtedly stay in the Democrat column. So long as people saw law and order being upheld instead of being abandoned, there would be a good chance the state would go to Biden (assuming he is not obliterated in a debate, should he participate in one). With the ongoing riots, arsons, shootings, and destruction in combination with a weak mayor and a number of anti-police council members, Minneapolis may be heading down a road other Minnesotans are reluctant to take and support.
In 2016, Trump lost Minnesota by a mere 45,000 votes, and granted this came at a time when his opponent was vehemently hated and much of America had turned red, including Pennsylvania and Michigan. Even with Hillary Clinton being as terrible a candidate as she was, she still managed to eke out a win in Minnesota. From 2012 to 2016, Republicans closed the gap by 200,000 votes.
2020 will be a bit different. Biden is not hated so much as he is largely irrelevant, and it has been working to his advantage as the media has kept him hidden and the same hatchet men have been going after Trump 24/7 for 4 years now. The issue Biden will run into in Minnesota is will the violence and destruction in Minneapolis overshadow people’s perceived dislike for Trump—it is not stopping anytime soon, and the city government has done little to curb the violence. Unfortunately for Biden, he suffers from an enthusiasm problem generally, and not just in Minnesota. This election has nothing to do with Biden and everything to do with Trump, but in Minnesota, the Democrat’s failure to control a basic government function may outweigh whatever ill will some people have for Trump because Biden—like it or not—is politically aligned with the same people who are letting these anarchists and arsonists run roughshod over cities like Minneapolis, and it scares the hell out of normal people.
The ACLU conducted some polling of over 600 registered voters in Minneapolis asking whether or not they would support a new system to replace the current police department. The poll found that 56% of voters agreed with the language that a holistic approach to policing with a new Department of Community Safety would be an adequate replacement. 30% opposed, and 14% were undecided.
In Ramsay County, Clinton beat Trump 65% to 26%. In Hennepin County, Clinton beat Trump 63% to 28%. If voters are not convinced that this new plan is an adequate replacement, there is a chance some of them may either come over to Trump or just sit out the election altogether. If Trump can add a percent or two on to these counties and improve his performance in other parts of the state, Minnesota may turn red the first time in a long time.